All Our Biggest Design Mistakes Posts In One Place
You know when you’re scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, and you remember seeing something earlier on in the day that you want to show to someone during that 20-second countdown between episodes of Parks & Rec on Netflix and you start scrolling down your feed, absolutely POSITIVE it’s just a few more posts down, and then you scroll and scroll and SCROLLLLLLLLL and you still can’t find it. Then, 12 minutes later, you finally land on it way past where you thought it was (and even worse, it’s not even as funny as you remember, so now you’re embarrassed to show whoever was patiently waiting for you get to it because it’s been built up and will 100% garner only a lazy/polite chuckle). Okay, this analogy might have gone off the rails and I’m only now realizing it doesn’t EXACTLY apply to what I was about to say (kind of like our example, huh?). Basically, the point is, you might REMEMBER reading a post about…how to hang curtains and how you’re doing it ALL wrong, but at the time, you lived in an apartment with a militant landlord that didn’t let you so much as Command strip something to the walls and NOW you’ve been set free and can finally put up those draperies…and you can’t find the article. And because our site search leaves something to be desired (don’t worry, it’s on our “to do” list), THAT’S WHERE THIS POST COMES IN. It’s all of our design mistakes and room rules all together (all the way from back in 2015) in one big Don’t Do That, Do This Instead post party.
And because we all personally feel that fall is kind of like the “new year” for content (hello September issue of Vogue), what better time to dig in, spruce up and get your home together before people start invading it over the holidays and you’re stressed out that those too-short curtains are STILL up and you know that gallery wall could be so. much. better.
SO, first up is…
#1 vintage Birdie… #2 vintage Emily’s kitchen pre-renovation (here it is after, FYI). This post is all about the perils of buying for your home without a proper plan. Is it the end of the world if you buy that dresser you spotted in the wee hours of the morning during an insomnia-fueled Craigslist binge without measuring that it would even fit through the door or that it looked good with whatever else you might already have in mind for that room? Well…depends. Okay, no, it’s not THAT dramatic, but it’s just so much more of a headache that could have been avoided.
Look, if you have some faux Old World or antiqued stuff at home, there’s no need to panic. If you DO like things with character (but don’t necessarily have the $$$ to buy authentically antique pieces) study up on what to avoid so that you can still get that age you love that, yes adds so much warmth and texture to a room design.
Okay, we say this with SO MUCH LOVE (and definitely some experience): step away from the Marshalls or IKEA art aisle. Very few good things can come of it. Do you REALLY want that same black-and-white photo of Times Square with just the cabs in color as your college-aged nephew? I mean, we don’t think you do, right? There is SO MUCH amazing, original (or prints of originals) art out there for the taking. Art is supposed to infuse your home with your special, one-of-a-kind perspective on the world, and in this post, we walk you through what to just say “no” to and share some of our favorite sources to check out.
Okay, so now you’ve got your non-generic art. Don’t be a tragic person and then go and HANG IT WRONG. If you’ve ever stared at a piece of art, then at the wall, and back at the art again wondering…how high should this be, this post has all the info you’ll need forever and ever. ::strong muscle arm emoji::
This post is NOT about buying that “investment” sofa. We are not here to tell you to just “go ahead and drop $10k on that imported Belgian sectional because it will be SO WORTH IT over time.” Is that true,? Yes, probably, but for those of us who are like “wait…what’s a savings account” out of just, frankly, living tiiiiiight paycheck to paycheck, but we want a beautiful house…THERE ARE OPTIONS. You might have no idea what a “generic” sofa is, but click over to read all about the silhouettes and fabrics to look away from and what to consider instead (no matter how small your budget).
America has been suffering for too long from “too small rug” syndrome. That’s actually the exact first line of that post, but I mean, there really was no better way to start this recap blurb because nothing truer has ever been said (hyperbole much?). All the rules, examples of “do this” and “don’t do this please”, and room-sized rugs that don’t cost a ridiculous fortune.
You’ve got yourself a small or dark room, so OF COURSE you’ll want to paint it white to make it feel more open and brighter, right? RIGHT?!? No. Full stop. There are times when a white room works really well, and other times when it feels quite sad. We walk you through all those examples, and offer solutions for what to do instead.
Welcome to our MOST POPULAR POST EVER. It’s one of our top posts every month, because evidently, tens of thousands of people are out there googling how to hang curtains. We get it, it’s tricky and poorly hung curtains can kind of cheapen a beautiful room. Run, don’t walk, to read this post if you even doubt for a second you’re doing it wrong.
Wood is your friend, people. Don’t let it stab you in the back. Shiny maple, shiny “espresso brown”, shiny bright red cherry…the top three culprits in the “bed wood finishes” case. Non-shiny maple, natural cherry wood, dark-stained wood…those are all fine and wonderful; this is a crash course on all the wood furniture that will instantly date your home.
Your tile worker installs the tiles slightly crooked, or worth a weird, wonky grout line because of the shape of the tile? Who pays for that? What about if your designer forces your hand on something that you end up HATING. Who eats that cost? We’ve got all the answers in this post.
Emily lives, you learn. Remember “The Master Bedroom Wallpaper Disaster of 2014” or the great “I Regret Selling THE Blue Sofa” fiasco? Four major regrets from the brain of Mrs. Henderson and how to avoid doing what she did.
Okay, we’ve gone through a lot of DO NOT DO THIS OR THE WORLD WILL END posts, but this one and the following three are geared toward all those rules that take a room to that next level. The space you have around furniture, how to layout said furniture to begin with, how tall your coffee table should be in comparison to your sofa…THIS POST IS GOLD. Read it, re-read it, Pin it, print it out, pin it to your forehead and #neverforget.
For anyone who doesn’t know that the bench at the foot of your bed should be 6 to 8 inches narrower than the bed on either side, this post is for you. (And if you just noticed that this accompanying image doesn’t follow that rule, well…sometimes you just have to go with your gut, and to hell with rules. No but for real, if you’re someone who lives by the book, read this post).
Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll get in this post: Give about 24″ of space per person for maximum comfort and food enjoyment. I mean, this is the stuff that perfect, effortless homes are made of.
OKAY FOLKS, that’s ALOT of rules. Do you have to live by all of these? No! But, we thought it might be a great resource to have all of these together in one place to reference whenever you need. So now the question begs…what else? We hit a lot of major points here, but is there anything else you think is a huge offender worth blogging about? Or something you just struggle with again an again that you want some real rules and guides around? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get to work!